IMDb > What Price Safety! (1938)

What Price Safety! (1938) More at IMDbPro »


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Release Date:
5 February 1938 (USA) See more »
Racketeers muscle in on construction business, use inferior materials, make big profits and endanger the public safety. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Betrayed by an orchid! See more (2 total) »


  (in credits order)
Lionel Royce ... Mr. Zuto

George Houston ... Foreman Cooper

John Wray ... J. Z. Wray
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
John Butler ... Mr. Schlevecki (uncredited)
Harvey Clark ... Chief Building Inspector (uncredited)

G. Pat Collins ... (uncredited)
Joe Downing ... Zuto's Henchman (uncredited)
Johnny Fitzgerald ... Messenger (uncredited)
Sherry Hall ... Dorety's Assistant (uncredited)
Chuck Hamilton ... Police Driver (uncredited) (archive footage)
Gordon Hart ... Mr. Stone - Building Commissioner (uncredited)
Harry Holden ... John Rudolph - Building Inspector (uncredited)
Mitchell Lewis ... Mischa - Counterman (uncredited)
Leonard Penn ... Len - Police Chemist (uncredited)
Addison Richards ... Wallace Doherty - District Attorney (uncredited)
Phillip Terry ... MGM Crime Reporter (uncredited)
Emmett Vogan ... Zuto's Henchman (uncredited)

Anthony Warde ... Zuto's Henchman (uncredited)

Ben Welden ... Joe - Zuto's Henchman (uncredited)

Directed by
Harold S. Bucquet 
Produced by
Jack Chertok .... producer

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Crime Does Not Pay No. 14: What Price Safety!" - USA (series title)
See more »
USA:20 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)


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Betrayed by an orchid!, 13 November 2013
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida

"What Price Safety!" begins with crooks deliberately sabotaging the Wray Construction Company's buildings in order to ruin the guy. This is so criminals can muscle in on him and build inferior projects instead--charging clients normal prices for sub-par projects. Not surprisingly, the safety inspectors are appalled but are either reassigned when they say anything or are violently killed. However, oddly, the case is solved due to orchid pollen found on the dead inspector.

This is another exceptional installment of this series. Like the other shorts, the production values are very nice (it was made by MGM) and the story hums along well. What I particularly liked about this one was its reliance on forensics--well before you might expect. In addition to the pollen the police also evaluate the steel using extreme magnification. Well done in every way.

By the way, when you see one of the building collapse, I am pretty sure some of these clips were lifted of an earlier MGM film, "San Francisco". Also, Wallace Doughtery is the district attorney who introduces the show. Despite their saying he was the D.A., he actually was an actor!

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